Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Open Letter to President Obama

"Mr. President, you marked your first day in the White House by ordering the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison. But in our country, many Guantanamos exist, only our Guantanamos are home to students, women's rights activists, labor organizers, political activists, and journalists. We, as former student activists who spent time in Iranian prisons under inhumane conditions, call on you and all those who defend human rights, freedom and equality to express solidarity to the people of Iran as they wage their struggle for freedom." from Iranian Dissidents

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Real Disgrace AIG Disgrace

See March 24, 2009 Wall Street Journal column "The Real AIG Disgrace" by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. at

■ "As far back as October, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo had summoned the Treasury-appointed Mr. Liddy to hammer out a deal on AIG's pay practices. Said Mr. Cuomo in a statement afterward: 'These actions are not intended to jeopardize the hard-earned compensation of the vast majority of AIG's employees, including retention and severance arrangements, who are essential to rebuilding AIG and the economy of New York'."
■ "Which brings us back to Mr. Cuomo, whose office has been implicitly threatening to publish names of AIG employees who don't relinquish pay they were contractually entitled to."
■ "Mr. Cuomo is a thug, but at least he reminds us: It can happen here."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Barrack Obama on the Surge in Iraq

■ "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence. In fact, I think it will do the reverse."
■ "Had those political factors not occurred, I think that my assessment would have been correct."
Senator Barack Obama II (D-IL)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Laguna Beach Historical Society Program Monday March 16th

The next Laguna Beach Historical Society program will be Monday, March 16th starting at 7:30 p.m. the Laguna Beach City Hall Council Chambers which is at 505 Forest Avenue. The public is invited and there is no charge. Historical Society Board Members Eric Jessen and Gene Felder will present a PowerPoint presentation "View and Discuss Historic Images from the Tom Pulley Postcard Collection".

According to Historical Society Treasurer Gene Felder "We had the great fortune of meeting Tom Pulley when he came to do research at the Murphy-Smith Bungalow. When asked if we could scan his seven postcards of Isaac Frazee's 1921 Peace Pipe Pageant or "Kitshi Manido" the 1921 Peace Pipe, we found out that he had seven hundred postcards of Laguna Beach. He has kept us busy. Come Monday, March 16th and we'll view and discuss some of them including piers, hotels, and businesses."
Step back into 1920s Laguna by visiting the Laguna Beach Historical Society Murphy-Smith Bungalow. The Murphy-Smith Bungalow located at 278 Ocean Avenue and which is opened to the public at no-charge every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Volunteers are needed to greet visitors to the Murphy-Smith Bungalow and should call 939-7257.

The Board is delighted that Dr. Gregg DeNicola M.D. has joined the Laguna Beach Historical Society Board of Directors and thank Tom Simpson Construction for their in-kind contribution building the front fence, the back gate and bench around the tree in the backyard.

Those interested in supporting and joining the Laguna Beach Historical Society should send $15 per individual, $25 per household or $50 per business/organization to 278 Ocean Avenue, Laguna Beach CA 92651. The Laguna Beach Historical Society is a section 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Tax ID #33-0519882.

While supplies last, those donating $100 to the Laguna Beach Historical Society will receive a copy of Joan Irvine Smith’s new book “A California Woman’s Story”.

Obama's Double Talk On the Budget

See March 9, 2009 "Obama's Double Talk On the Budget" by Robert Samuelson at
Article includes:

■ "Obama is a great pretender. He repeatedly says he is doing things that he isn't, trusting his powerful rhetoric to obscure the difference. He has made "responsibility" a personal theme; the budget's cover line is 'A New Era of Responsibility'. He says the budget begins 'making the tough choices necessary to restore fiscal discipline' It doesn't."
■ "Assume that Obama wins reelection. By his last year, 2016, the economy presumably will have long recovered. What does his final budget look like? Well, it runs a $637 billion deficit, equal to 3.2 percent of the economy (gross domestic product), projects Obama's Office of Management and Budget."

■ "Confidence (too little) and uncertainty (too much) define this crisis. Obama's double talk reduces the first and raises the second. He says he's focused on reviving the economy, but he's also using the crisis to advance an ambitious long-term agenda."

Jim Cramer Takes on the Populist Obama Administration

From March 9, 2009 "Cramer Takes on the White House, Frank Rich and Jon Stewart"; article includes:
By Jim Cramer
See full articles at See

■ "President Obama's team, unlike Bush's team, demonstrates a thinness of skin that shocks me. When I somewhat obviously and empirically judged that the populist Obama administration is exacerbating the crisis with its budget and policies, as evidenced by the incredible decline in the averages since his inauguration, I was met immediately with condescension and ridicule rather than constructive debate or even just benign dismissal. I said to myself, "What the heck? Are they really that blind to the Great Wealth Destruction they are causing with their decisions to demonize the bankers, raise taxes for the wealthy, advocate draconian cap-and-trade policies and upend the health care system?"

■ "We need to declare a war on unemployment and solve it before we let it get out of hand. We need to stop house-price depreciation. Neither the pork-laden stimulus plan nor the confusing mortgage proposal put forward by Obama will defeat either enemy. When Obama trounces both unemployment and house-price depreciation, he will have the power to enact anything he wants. But all the initiatives he wants to rush, like tax hikes, changes in health care, tinkering with the mortgage deduction -- good grief, right now in the midst of the worst housing downturn ever -- and the tough cap-and-trade rules, will derail any chance we have of turning this economy around. Instead, they put the Second Great Depression smack on the nation's table."

■ "The markets thought he could stop it; hence the giant relief rally when he was elected. But in fewer than 50 days of his ascendancy, the markets' hopes were totally dashed and the averages are now forecasting the worst decline since the Great Depression. As someone who listens to what the averages are screaming, I think they are accurately predicting the future."

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Barack Obama 'too tired' to give proper welcome to Gordon Brown

See March 7, 2009 article by Tim Shipman at
■ "Barack Obama's offhand approach to Gordon Brown's Washington visit last week came about because the president was facing exhaustion over America's economic crisis and is unable to focus on foreign affairs, the Sunday Telegraph has been told."
■ "Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been "overwhelmed" by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest."
■ "British officials ... concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister."
■ "Allies of Mr Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president's surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk."
■ "A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr Obama's inner circle, expressed concern that Mr Obama had failed so far to 'even fake an interest in foreign policy'."
■ "The apparent lack of attention to detail by the Obama administration is indicative of what many believe to be Mr Obama's determination to do too much too quickly."
■ "The Sunday Telegraph understands that one of Mr Obama's most prominent African American backers, whose endorsement he spent two years cultivating, has told friends that he detects a weakness in Mr Obama's character. 'The one real serious flaw I see in Barack Obama is that he thinks he can manage all this. He's underestimating the flood of things that will hit his desk'."
■ "A Democratic strategist, who is friends with several senior White House aides, revealed that the president has regularly appeared worn out and drawn during evening work sessions with senior staff in the West Wing and has been forced to make decisions more quickly than he is comfortable."